Friday, May 30, 2014

"I Got This" by Wesley K. Zinn Giveaway Winner!




Congratulations goes out to Cheryl. She won a copy of Wesley K. Zinn's "I Got This."

Thanks to all who participated. I hope you visit again soon.

The Friday 56 - Week 180


Welcome to Week 180!

Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grab you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post to the Linky at Freda's Voice. Add the post url, not your blog url. It's that simple.


This is from page 56 of a book I'm reading for a review next month. I try never to miss one of Charlotte Hubbard's books.



Oh, but his low tone brought to mind long, slow kisses...lessons only an older man could teach...sweet whispered words that made her feel special. Beautiful. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Tactics, Trends, & Traits of the Enemy Book Blitz - Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card

Tactics, Trends, and Traits of the Enemy by author Jermaine Gadson is a must have resource for believers who want to be well equipped to be victorious against the strategies of the devil. The devil is cunning and deceptive, and he will stop at nothing to keep God's people from reaching their potential in Christ. In this book, Pastor Gadson discusses how the enemy uses temptation, seduction, fear, isolation, guilt, shame, and other such things in order to steal and destroy a person's life. Satan works tirelessly through various means and mechanisms to keep sinners from hearing and being receptive of the Word of God, in order to prevent them from being saved. If you have family or friends who are not born-again, this resource will help you to identify schemes that the enemy may be using to keep your loved ones from being saved. This book is intended to equip the Body of Christ to wage a good warfare against the strategies of the enemy. It is not God's will for His people to be taken advantage of by the enemy because of ignorance. This book exposes who the enemy is, what he has done, what he is doing, and what he will try to do in the future, as an enemy of God's people. This book is written for the everyday believer to be able to understand and use. However, it is also a helpful tool for Christian leaders to be able to identify specific ways in which the enemy desires to attack them in order to steal their influence, kill their destiny, and destroy their reputation and ministries. In this regard, it is an encouragement to the Body of Christ to guard and protect their spiritual leaders.

Excerpt:

Know Your Enemy
Before engaging in battle of any kind, it is very important to be familiar with the opposition. The more you know about your enemy, the greater you will be equipped to fight against them and be victorious. Knowing your enemy includes being knowledgeable of their strengths, weaknesses, habits, origin, and the like. When you are knowledgeable about your adversary, you become empowered to develop a plan of action or strategy to adequately defend against their opposition, overcome their threats and defensive mechanisms, and ultimately defeat them.

Athletes and those who follow sports are familiar and acquainted with this principle. Coaches and players spend hours upon hours viewing video recordings of not only their own team, but of their upcoming opponents as well. They view recordings to evaluate their own strengths and weaknesses as revealed by previous games, and they do the same to identify strengths and weaknesses of the next team they have to face.

This principle is certainly pertinent in the area of the military as well. No military general, or top ranking official who has authority over military personnel will in their right mind authorize the use of military force without adequate information concerning the enemy to be attacked. Right decisions require right information. This is especially true if you want to come out victorious and on top.

Now that we can see the importance of this principle from a natural standpoint, it makes sense that this would also apply spiritually in relation to how we are to do battle with our spiritual enemy. As you read this book, I hope that you will be able to see the importance of this material in helping you towards this very end. The reason this book is so important is because the person reading it is like a ballplayer looking at tape of his or her opponent or a military general gathering intelligence on a terrorist organization.

When you know where your enemy came from, what your enemy has done in the past, and what your enemy is presently capable of, you are more readily prepared to wage a good warfare and defeat him in any present or future encounters you may have.

Title: Tactics, Trends, & Traits of the Enemy
Author: Jermaine Gadson
Genre: Spiritual
Publisher: Crossbooks – Division of LifeWay (June 2014)
ISBN: 9781462736362—Hard Cover
ISBN: 9781462736355—Soft Cover
ISBN: 9781462736348—eBook

Pre-order at: http://www.amazon.com/PRE-ORDER-Tactics-Trends-Equipping-Believer/dp/1462736351/




Jermaine Gadson is the Senior Pastor of Faith Ministries, Inc., a non-traditional church located in Birmingham, AL. Prior to starting Faith Ministries, he served as an associate minister, youth minister, and pastor for local churches and ministries in the greater Birmingham area. While, growing up in the Baptist church, he gave his life to Christ at an early age, and is a third generation minister of the Gospel.

He holds a B.A. in Religion with a Concentration in Congregational Studies and a Minor in Classics from Samford University, and a Master of Divinity from Beeson Divinity School of Samford University. He is currently a Doctor of Ministry student at Beeson Divinity School.

Gadson enjoys reading, writing, sports, outdoors, movies, and spending time with his family. He is happily married to his wife Kristy and they have one beautiful daughter, Khloe.

Visit Pastor Gadson online at www.JermaineGadson.com.

Pump Up Your Book and Jermaine are teaming up to give away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!
Terms and Conditions:

  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive each of the prizes
  • This giveaway begins May 19 and ends on May 31, 2014.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on June 2, 2014.
  • Winner has 72 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Flax Chia Garlic Parmesan Crackers

With the announcement that I suffer from osteopenia, diet changes are in the process--less caffeine and salt, more calcium enriched foods, more green vegetables--as are ways to increase my physical activity. Knowing I was already at risk for osteoporosis because of being a thin, white woman who has used systematic corticosteroids for over twenty years to control asthma, my first bone density scan came as a shock to me--and my physician.

One thing my doctor mentioned was adding flax to my diet. So, on a recent shopping trip I bought Good Grains by Carrington Farms® Flax Chia Blend. Since I was already cooking for the World War I Cooking Contest this weekend, I decided to try the recipe on the back of the bag for Flax Chia Garlic Parmesan Crackers, especially since I had all the ingredients on hand.

Flax Chia Garlic Parmesan Crackers


1 Cup Good Grains Flax Chia Blend
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water

Heat oven to 400 degrees.



1. Mix all ingredients together.
2. Spoon onto a sheet pan which is covered with greased parchment paper.


3. Cover mixture on baking sheet with waxed paper and even out to approximately 1/8". Use a rolling pin.
Make sure thickness is even around the out edges or that part will over cook. Remove wax paper and even out as necessary.
4. Bake 15-18 minutes until center is no longer soft. Once edges begin to brown remove from heat. Let cool.
5. Once it is cool and crisp break into pieces.



I wish I could say I enjoyed these, but I can't. I didn't like the flavor or the texture. Even with a slice of cheddar cheese on top they weren't my favorite--though much better than eating plain.

The company's website offers a variety of recipes, so I am going to try again to see if I can find something I enjoy. If you cook with flax, I would appreciate any pointers you have.

This Day in History - Controversial ballet Le Sacre du printemps performed in Paris


On the night of May 29, 1913, the Ballet Russes performed Igor Stravinsky's ballet Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring) at the Theatre de Champs-Elysees in Paris. Originally titled The Victim, Stravinsky's ballet portrayed a pagan celebration in which a virgin sacrifices herself to the god of spring. Press coverage of the ballet was overwhelmingly negative.

History.com provides details on the context of this ballet in light of the anxiety of the French as Germany grew in strength, which eventually led to World War I barely more than a year later. You can read more at http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/controversial-ballet-le-sacre-du-printemps-performed-in-paris

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

World Wars: World War I Cooking Contest Recipe for Army Goulash



To celebrate the airing of the The World Wars™ Three-Night Event on History Channel, our family held a World War I Cooking Contest. We were tasked with making an authentic WWI recipe and sharing it with the group for judging. The final episode of The World Wars airs tonight at 9/8C, so I decided it would be a good idea to share the recipe with you.

Army Goulash 

1 lb. hamburger
1 medium onion
2 16 oz. cans pork and beans
6 1/2 oz. can tomato sauce
salt and pepper
chili powder

1. Brown hamburger with onions. 


2. Mix in pork and beans, chili powder, salt, pepper, and tomato sauce.
3. Simmer for about 30 minutes



This definitely isn't the most exact recipe, as you are expected to season to taste. In addition, it didn't say whether to simmer covered or uncovered. I went with uncovered. 

Though it didn't win (kind of hard for my family in Texas to taste test this one), everyone who tried it at my son's birthday party--which is where we were this weekend--loved it. The Lil' Diva really enjoyed this dish. Army Goulash ends up tasting like a less spicy chili because it doesn't contain cumin or jalapeno peppers. If you're having a busy night and looking for a quick, yet filling, meal, this will fit the bill.

Visit the website listed in the credit above for historical information about preparations during WWI. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

CFBA: Until I Found You by Victoria Bylin

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Until I Found You
Bethany House Publishers (May 6, 2014)
by
Victoria Bylin




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
A word from the Author:



This may sound crazy, but I was driven to write romance by giant bugs and killer rabbits. I just couldn't take it anymore. My husband and two sons would be camped in front of the television watching a movie about spiders the size of bowling balls, and I'd be wondering when the handsome scientist would get around to kissing the spunky woman with the bug spray. When it didn't happen, I decided to write my own happy endings--without the giant bugs...

Known for her realistic, likable characters and vivid writing, Victoria Bylin writes both western and contemporary inspirational romance. Her books have finaled in the ACFW Carol Awards, the Rita Awards and RT Magazine’s Reviewers’ Choice Awards. She and her husband currently live in Lexington, Kentucky and have two grown sons.



ABOUT THE BOOK



Finding each other was only the beginning . . .

When Kate Darby swerves off a mountain road to avoid hitting a California condor, she ends up trapped in her car, teetering on the edge of a cliff. Terrified, she breathes a prayer that changes her life.

It's Nick Sheridan who comes to Kate's rescue. Nick is handsome and confident, and he seems to develop a habit of rescuing her, but Kate is in town only until her grandmother recuperates from a stroke. She's not planning to get involved with one of the locals.

Nick is a reformed veteran of life in the fast lane, a new Christian, and a travel writer. When he sees a car dangling on the edge of a cliff, the daredevil in him jumps into action. He doesn't expect to be swept off his feet by the car's occupant. He's made a vow--no dating for a year--but keeping that vow is going to be a lot more difficult now that he's met Kate Darby. . . .

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Until I Found You, go HERE.



"Stay-At-Home Moms" Infographic

Home Birth
Source: NursingsSchoolHub.com

Wordless Wednesdays


Monday, May 26, 2014

In the News - Swiss Museum Vows to Return Works in Nazi Trove



At the end of March, I reviewed The Monuments Men, which is a movie based upon a book of the same name by Robert M. Edsel. It is the story of an unlikely World War II platoon tasked by FDR with going into Germany to rescue artistic masterpieces from the Nazis and returning them to their rightful owners.

I absolutely loved this movie, so I read with great interest the article I found in The Wall Street Journal on Friday, May 9, 2014 regarding the Swiss museum, who inherited the collection of Cornelius Gurlitt, the late son of one of Hitler's art dealers. Though as of the writing of the article, the museum had not yet accepted the collection, the director of Kunstmuseum Bern, Matthias Frehner, stated the trustees would decide within the next six months whether to accept Mr. Gurlitt's will bequeathing the entire estate to the museum. If it does, the museum would return any looted art or compensate their original owners as per the 1998 agreement knows as the "Washington Principles."

There is a great deal more information on this story in The Wall Street Journal article. You can read it at http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB20001424052702304655304579549880169810884

CFBA: A Stitch and A Prayer by Eva Gibson

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Stitch and A Prayer
Abingdon Press (May 20, 2014)
by
Eva Gibson




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Eva Gibson is the author of twenty books, including A Stitch and a Prayer, the latest release in the Quilts of Love series from Abingdon Fiction. She currently teaches Writing Your Life Story classes for Portland Community College and is an active member of Oregon Christian Writers. She has lived most of her life on the family farm in Wilsonville, Oregon, which is the setting for her novel.

ABOUT THE BOOK

After her fiancé returns from the Klondike gold rush in 1897, Florence Harms sets about building a new life in her new marriage—even though the lingering effects of illness have left her weak and vulnerable. She and her young husband, Will, work tirelessly to clear the land around their Northwest cabin, content with their modest life.

But then a stranger comes knocking and Florence suddenly senses a restlessness in Will’s spirit that she had never seen before. When he leaves her with only a note that tells her he will return before their baby’s birth, she is devastated, and the illness that stiffened her joints returns. Counting the days until Will walks back through her door, Florence busies herself with a Tree of Life quilt displaying a map of the farm they call home. Doubts claw at her heart as Florence struggles to believe Will’s promise to return to her. Will her labor of love—and faith in God—sustain her as she waits to see her beloved once again?

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Stitch and A Prayer, go HERE.

Mailbox Monday - May 26

Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

I was a good girl this week and resisted the temptation to purchase more books. The mail carrier did, however, bring me a copy of a book and DVD that I offered to review at my kid's book blog.


Corrie ten Boom and her family are just simple watchmakers in Haarlem, Holland, where they give what little they have to spread God's love and help others. But everything changes when World War II breaks loose and Nazi soldiers take over. As the Nazis force Corrie's Jewish neighbors out of their homes and send them to deadly concentration camps, the Ten Boom family must make a difficult choice. What can Corrie and her family do in the face of so much evil?

Read the amazing true story of Corrie ten Boom, a Torchlighter hero of the faith, and discover how her obedience to God saved lives and continues to inspire others today.


What arrived in your mailbox last week?

Sunday, May 25, 2014

The World Wars Three-Night Event Starts Tonight on History Channel



The World Wars™ Three-Night Event begins at 9/8C on Memorial Day, Monday, May 26 on History Channel.

Adolf Hitler. Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Benito Mussolini. Winston Churchill. Charles de Gaulle. George Patton. Before they were the giants of WWII, they were infantrymen and privates in WWI, the “war to end all wars.” The World Wars™ from HISTORY® and H2® brings you the story of the devastating three decades of 20th-century world war through the eyes of the men whose characters were forged in the trenches before they commanded a world on the brink of disaster. See how, from Ypres and the Somme to the Battle of the Bulge and the invasion of Normandy, the iconic figures of WWII became synonymous with either battlefield glory or murderous fascism.

May 26 - Episode 1: Trial By Fire

An assassin’s bullet sparks a global conflict that quickly evolves into the deadliest war humanity has ever seen. In the chaos, a new generation of soldier emerges, including a group of men who would become the most infamous leaders of the 20th century. Jeremy Renner narrates.

May 27 - Episode 2: A Rising Threat

The fighting may have stopped, but tensions around the world continue to simmer just beneath the surface.

May 28 - Episode 3: Never Surrender

A new generation of world leaders is called to action as war inevitably breaks out again.

If you visit The World Wars Store, you can pre-order the DVD, which will be released in September.


I have not been paid to promote this series, but my nephew is Vice President of Development for Stephen David Entertainment who was involved in the production of this series for History Channel. 






In Honor of Those Who Gave Their All...


Healthy Tips for Busy Moms


One of the most challenging things for me as a busy mom is in learning the most effective and efficient ways to take care of myself and my family. Managing a few health conditions (high cholesterol and blood sugar for the hubby and osteopenia for me) makes cooking an even bigger challenge. I find I'm looking for ways to make more of my own foods and depend less on pre-packaged foods and frozen foods.

Here are some links to help busy moms and their families stay healthy:


  1. Nutrition Tips for Busy Moms - Here are more than a dozen healthy eating tips.
  2. 5 Healthy Tips for Busy Moms - How to work in exercise, eat right, and prioritize from Modern Mom.
  3. The Best Health Tips for Moms - Here you can find out how to squeeze exercise into your busy day, learn how to exercise properly, and eat right. 
  4. The Working Mom's Renewable Energy Plan - This plan from Working Mother is said to help you get your mojo back.
  5. 10 Simple Strategies for Busy Moms to Stay Healthy - Sugar-free Mom offers tips about eating clean, daily exercise, date nights, and more.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Friday 56 - Week 179


Welcome to Week 179!

Rules:
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don't spoil it) that grab you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post to the Linky at Freda's Voice. Add the post url, not your blog url. It's that simple.



My first class of the day was Spanish 2, or Espaňol 2. (I learned the true language in the class. Just like in my English class. The languages were soo true to the people of the countries. Minus 15 points for being a smart-ass. Education.) I entered the classroom, and the teacher seemed sane, somewhat down-to-earth, but you can't really get an impression of a teacher from roll call.

Heal the Body...Not the Disease by Judy Marie Trimbur, Author of She Thought She Could She Did


Throughout my life I have faced numerous health challenges and other obstacles along the way. My journey became a miraculous transformation from ‘victim-hood’ to ‘victorious-hood’. Knowing one day, I would be able to graciously “gift back” the pearls of wisdom that have been gifted to me. She Thought She Could She Did is a memoir intended to Divinely inspire others by providing a platform of spiritual self-study to invoke holistic healing.

Heal the Body...Not the Disease
 by Judy Marie Trimbur

Our bodies were created to heal themselves intelligently, given the appropriate modalities. There are phenomenal long-term benefits when we heal the body verses treat the disease. From the day we were born we continually make choices that effect our health, both consciously or unconsciously.

I experienced what it is like to treat health issues from the perspective of curing the disease. However, once the doors of holistic wellness opened up to me, the journey of healing became so alive and abundant. From that point on, I began to appreciate the importance of healing the body as a whole. I no longer viewed a particular “health issue” as a separate entity from my “being.” At first, my pre-programmed brain told me that my health conditions were genetic, But my quest for a greater understanding of the human body brought a shift in my perspective. Over the last thirty years I have reinvented my body.

A proper diagnosis of a health condition gives a person the peace of mind that comes from knowing what the condition is and having a clear starting point for their recovery. Once that is established there are two choices to make about your medicinal direction to take. You can treat the disease or heal the body as a whole.

Healing our body is an incredible opportunity to become more alive. It has been my experience that deficiency and toxicity are on the forefront of causing disease. Disease is a symptom of the body trying to eliminate waste and toxins. It is an alarm that our body sets off warning us that we need healing. Looking at the body as a whole, addresses the root causes of the disease itself.

The only way to really achieve wellness, is to stop doing the things that cause disease and begin doing the things that rebuild the immune system. It takes time to restore and rebuild, but as we continue to create healthier patterns and habits our body WILL REGENERATE ITSELF. No one intentionally sets out to develop illness. The good news is, through knowledge and a determination to make daily changes the healing process will happen.

We only have one body for life and our HEALTH is our greatest WEALTH. You hold all the power to take charge of your health—as I did—and wellness is always your best long term and healthy choice.

The inspiration behind writing She Thought She Could She did truly was a miraculous part of my soul’s destiny from birth. When the day arrived to unleash my memoir, it felt as though the Divine directly carved a portal to my heart. In a short time the stories became powerful messages of hope, help and healing for many. I am a living testimony of a “once little girl” who came from a life of deep dysfunction and unconsciously addicted to being a victim, to becoming a woman embracing a beautiful path of “authentic wellbeing.” I clearly understand the precious steps it takes to gentle restore our broken pieces of life and transform them into our own gorgeous master piece.

For More Information About Judy Marie Trimbur visit – www.miraclesofhealth.com


She Thought She Could She Did - http://www.amazon.com/She-Thought-Could-Did-Miraculous/dp/1938043138/

This Day in History - Paul Newman Stars in "Winning"



On this day in history, actor Paul Newman starred as Frank Capua, a struggling race car driver who must turn around his fortunes by winning the biggest race of them all--the Indianapolis 500--and avoid losing his wife to his rival Luther Erding, played by Robert Wagner.


Three years later, Newman would launch his own racing career.

To find out more, visit http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/winning-released-stars-paul-newman-as-a-race-car-driver

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

When You Let Go Book Blast with Unoma Nwankwor

Book Title:  When You Let Go
Genre: Christian Fiction, Novel
Publication Date:  May 22, 2014
Genre:  Christian Fiction

About The Book:
An answered prayer. An unforeseen betrayal. A family healed by grace.

Amara and Ejike Dike had been married for six glorious years. Amara was convinced Ejike, was the perfect gift from God. Loving, charming and very easy on the eyes. They had a beautiful life. Well, not so beautiful. Amara’s inability to bear children made her feel like a less than the perfect mate for her husband.
Then after many years, God lifted her faith and had finally heard her cry. The Dikes couldn’t be happier.

A surprise visit from Chinelo, Amara’s long lost cousin, turns Amara’s world upside down and threatens to turn her once-perfect existence into ashes.

Ejike loved his wife with a passion. They shared a burning desire and faith in God that burned deep. However Chinelo’s appearance would open a Pandora’s Box that had purposely been kept shut.

Faced with the loss of all she holds dear, Amara finds herself at crossroads. Would she lean on God’s sustaining grace to let go and travel the rocky path to forgiveness? Or would she throw everything to the wind and walk away?

When You Let Go is a novel about people who know what the Word of God instructs but struggle with actually doing it when the chips are down

About The Author:


Born in Akron, Ohio to Nigerian parents. Unoma Nwankwor spent her childhood and early adulthood years in Port-Harcourt, Nigeria. She is a romantic at heart and is passionate about telling stories of faith and hope about love. She hope to capture her readers through stories that are faith based with an element of love. After all, “and now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” ~1 Corinthians 13:13

She is the published author of An Unexpected Blessing (2013) and The Christmas Ultimatum (2013) and many published flash fiction and short stories. Her work has appeared in Africa Book Club and the Kenyan Ezine ;Wamathai and well as numerous radio shows and blogs. She is currently working on her next novel When You Let Go (May, 2014) and A Scoop of Love (October, 2014).

Her readers are in love with her unique way of telling stories that capture the essence of her present home base; Atlanta Georgia and her Nigerian culture. She calls them her God-given stories and strives every day to be a use her gift to His glory.

Social Links:
Email: unwankwor@kevstelgroup.com

Buy Links:
Tour Hosted by Write Now Literary Book Tours www.wnlbooktours.com

BOOK CONTEST: The Author is giving away one e-book copy of An Unexpected Blessing( Kindle or Nook Only) To enter go here: http://bit.ly/1v0qb9e


CFBA: Gathering Shadows by Nancy Mehl

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Gathering Shadows
Bethany House Publishers (May 6, 2014)
by
Nancy Mehl




ABOUT THE AUTHOR:




Nancy Mehl lives in Wichita, Kansas with her husband Norman and their dog, Watson. She’s authored thirteen books and is currently at work on her newest series for Bethany House Publishing.

All of Nancy’s novels have an added touch – something for your spirit as well as your soul. “I welcome the opportunity to share my faith through my writing,” Nancy says. “It’s a part of me and of everything I think or do. God is number one in my life. I wouldn’t be writing at all if I didn’t believe that this is what He’s called me to do. I hope everyone who reads my books will walk away with the most important message I can give them: God is good, and He loves you more than you can imagine. He has a good plan especially for your life, and there is nothing you can’t overcome with His help.”

She and her husband attend Believer’s Tabernacle in Wichita.




ABOUT THE BOOK



Wynter Evans is a promising young reporter for a television station in St. Louis, but even a bright future doesn't take away her pain over the disappearance of her brother nine years ago. So when she stumbles across a photograph of a boy with an eerie resemblance to him, she can't pass up the chance to track him down. With research for work as her cover, she sets out with one of the station's photogs for the place where the picture was taken: the town of Sanctuary.

Almost as soon as she arrives, she meets the town's handsome young mayor, Rueben King, and together they begin to uncover long held secrets that could tear the small town apart and change everything Wynter thought she knew about her life. As the truth of her family's past hides in the shadows, it's clear someone will stop at nothing to keep the answers she's searching for hidden forever--even if the cost is Wynter's very life.

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Gathering Shadows, go HERE.

Wordless Wednesday


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

In the News - Common Core Opponent Wins Local Election



This is how I spent part of my Saturday morning--standing out holding signs at the polls for a local candidate who was running for School Committee.


Patricia Gordon easily secured a seat on the Hampden-Wilbraham Regional School Committee. Gordon, a retired teacher at Minnechaug Regional High School, ran as an Independent candidate for one of two open seats in a three-way race.

While I haven't been heavily involved in local politics since 2003, I felt it important to support a candidate who believes every child is a "unique and different person and and needs to be treated as such in the classroom." Gordon believes in a grass roots approach to education, not in federal standards that concerned citizens--myself included--believe squash creativity in the classroom for teachers and students.

Gordon has called Common Core "a rigid technology laden approach to learning, which dictates spending a lot more money on technology improvements, according to the state’s timeline." We're already seeing some of these changes in the classroom when we visit for events. I've also seen what my daughters bring home for homework these days and I can't believe this is a way to make today's children more successful. Here is an example of a math problem posted on 94.7 WMAS Springfield, MA's Facebook page today. Please tell me how we are helping to prepare our children for a brighter future this way?



As Freedomworks contributor Julie Borowski says in her article titled, "Top 10 Reasons to Oppose Common Core," Common Core is bad for teachers, bad for parents, and bad for students.

Congratulations to Pat Gordon for securing a seat on the Hampden-Wilbraham Regional School Committee. I pray this means good things for the children, families, and teachers here.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Spotlight and Giveaway: Tactics, Trends, and Traits of the Enemy by Jermaine Gadson

Title:  Tactics, Trends, and Traits of the Enemy
Author: Jermaine Gadson
Genre: Spiritual
Publisher: Crossbooks – Division of LifeWay (June 2014)
ISBN:  9781462736362—Hard Cover
ISBN: 9781462736355—Soft Cover
ISBN: 9781462736348—eBook


ABOUT THE BOOK:

Tactics, Trends, and Traits of the Enemy by author Jermaine Gadson is a must have resource for believers who want to be well equipped to be victorious against the strategies of the devil. The devil is cunning and deceptive, and he will stop at nothing to keep God's people from reaching their potential in Christ. In this book, Pastor Gadson discusses how the enemy uses temptation, seduction, fear, isolation, guilt, shame, and other such things in order to steal and destroy a person's life. Satan works tirelessly through various means and mechanisms to keep sinners from hearing and being receptive of the Word of God, in order to prevent them from being saved. If you have family or friends who are not born-again, this resource will help you to identify schemes that the enemy may be using to keep your loved ones from being saved. This book is intended to equip the Body of Christ to wage a good warfare against the strategies of the enemy. It is not God's will for His people to be taken advantage of by the enemy because of ignorance. This book exposes who the enemy is, what he has done, what he is doing, and what he will try to do in the future, as an enemy of God's people. This book is written for the everyday believer to be able to understand and use. However, it is also a helpful tool for Christian leaders to be able to identify specific ways in which the enemy desires to attack them in order to steal their influence, kill their destiny, and destroy their reputation and ministries. In this regard, it is an encouragement to the Body of Christ to guard and protect their spiritual leaders.

Book Excerpt:

Chapter One
Know Your Enemy
Before engaging in battle of any kind, it is very important to be familiar with the opposition. The more you know about your enemy, the greater you will be equipped to fight against them and be victorious. Knowing your enemy includes being knowledgeable of their strengths, weaknesses, habits, origin, and the like. When you are knowledgeable about your adversary, you become empowered to develop a plan of action or strategy to adequately defend against their opposition, overcome their threats and defensive mechanisms, and ultimately defeat them.
Athletes and those who follow sports are familiar and acquainted with this principle. Coaches and players spend hours upon hours viewing video recordings of not only their own team, but of their upcoming opponents as well. They view recordings to evaluate their own strengths and weaknesses as revealed by previous games, and they do the same to identify strengths and weaknesses of the next team they have to face.
This principle is certainly pertinent in the area of the military as well. No military general, or top ranking official who has authority over military personnel will in their right mind authorize the use of military force without adequate information concerning the enemy to be attacked. Right decisions require right information. This is especially true if you want to come out victorious and on top.
Now that we can see the importance of this principle from a natural standpoint, it makes sense that this would also apply spiritually in relation to how we are to do battle with our spiritual enemy. As you read this book, I hope that you will be able to see the importance of this material in helping you towards this very end. The reason this book is so important is because the person reading it is like a ballplayer looking at tape of his or her opponent or a military general gathering intelligence on a terrorist organization. When you know where your enemy came from, what your enemy has done in the past, and what your enemy is presently capable of, you are more readily prepared to wage a good warfare and defeat him in any present or future encounters you may have.
The Origin of Satan

Since we are dealing with the concept of knowing your enemy, it is important to understand the origin of where the enemy discussed in this book, Satan, also known as the devil, comes from. Here is what is considered to be the biblical account of Satan’s demise, in Isaiah 14:12-15:
“How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations!
13 For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’
15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol,
To the lowest depths of the Pit.”


The story of Satan originates in the heaven. In his beginning, he was created as an angel of God, who was called by the name of Lucifer. Lucifer was one of God’s chief angels, and as a consequence was given much power and authority. However, because of pride and jealousy towards God, his creator, he rebelled against God, wanting to be worshipped as a god himself. Through his rebellion, he lead one third of the angelic host to follow suit (Revelation 12:4). Today, Lucifer and the one third of angels who rebelled with him are now known as Satan and demons. The devil along with all the other demons, are simply fallen angels. They are angels who rebelled against God, and as a result were cast out of heaven, and striped of their original responsibilities and places of angelic authority (Jude 1:6).
The Point of No Return

Angels have a special and unique role in the plan and purposes of God. Often in the Scriptures, as well as in other literature, angelic beings are referred to as the “sons” of God. This references the fact that the origin of all angels is God, the One who created them.
Adam, the first human being, is called the “son” of God in Scripture as well, simply because he originated from God who created him (Luke 3:38). Adam did not have an earthly father because he was the first human being. God was his father by mere fact of his creation. In the same way, angels are “sons” or children of God. Angels are spirit beings, and human beings are spirit beings at their core, and God is the Father of spirits. Therefore, God, who is a Spirit Himself, is the Father of all spirit beings (Hebrews 12:9). God has created all beings, angels and humanity, for His own glory and purpose.
Nonetheless, there are distinct differences between the angelic and human races that are vitally important to understand. The angelic race was primarily created to serve the purposes of God and His creation. The human race was primarily created for the pleasure of God, to be the glory of His creation. From this we see a difference in the distinct beings in how they were created in relation to God. Though all beings were created to praise and worship God, angels were created to serve God, and human beings were created to love God.
Without going any further into a deep discussion of angelology, demonology, or anthropology, the study of angels, demons, and human beings respectively, for the purposes of this discussion, there is one fact that is paramount. This fact is rooted in what I have stated above in connection with the purposes and differences in why angles and humanity were created. All angels, as far as we know, were created to serve God, and to stand in His presence. In this sense, they are primarily servants, because they were created to serve and do the biding of the Father. Therefore, sense their primary relationship with God is based upon their service to God, the moment that they choose to disobey God; they forfeit their privilege of being able to perpetually stand in God’s presence and to be called in His service. In other words, an angel who sins cannot be forgiven. Someone might say that this is not fair, how can God not forgive an angel who sins. The reality is not so much that God will not forgive, but rather that the angel has become so corrupt that they have no room in their heart for repentance. For example, do you literally think that Satan has, is, or is going to repent and turn from his wickedness? No way! Consider this; the angels get to experience the very presence of Almighty God, continually. God has invested in them powers, abilities, and responsibilities to govern and care for heaven, earth, the galaxies, and the universe. They enjoy the lavish luxury of heaven eternally. Is a person who is willing to give all this and much more up worthy of reconciliation?
Human beings on the other hand have the ability to repent. Therefore, a human being’s eternal destiny is not eternally lost because of sin. We have hope because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).
This whole concept of Satan being our enemy, is not so much that Satan is concerned about us on our own account; rather, Satan is jealous of our relationship with God, and the position of authority that God has given to us as a race of spiritual beings. Our fight against the enemy is not just about us. The enemy attacks us because he knows that we are the glory of God’s creation. The devil’s attack on us is really an attack against God. The enemy cannot do anything to hurt God directly because God is God. However, instead of coming against God, whom he knows he cannot defeat, he comes against the ones that God loves.
Think of it this way, the devil is a criminal master mind. If you have ever watched TV shows or movies, where crime was involved, you would notice that whenever a criminal mind wanted to cause harm to an individual or manipulate the individual to do what they wanted, they would either kidnap, threaten to do harm, and actually do harm to someone of whom the individual loved. This is not a concept that originated in the entertainment industry to keep us on the edges of our seats. This is a tactic that originated with Satan, which he is still using today, and will continue to use until his ultimate demise.
The Outcome of Satan

Satan is a sore loser. He lost the battle against Michael and the angels of God in heaven when he rebelled, so he is trying to do as much damage as he possibly can against humanity, and desires to take as many people to hell with him as possible (Revelation 12:7- 12).
When Satan led the rebellion against God, he had to fight against Michael the archangel and the army of angels who remained faithful to God. Satan and his forces lost, of course. As a result, they were cast down to the earth. By God creating mankind to rule the earth, God was in essence creating man from the very beginning to exercise dominion and authority over Satan and his demons. Satan seizing the opportunity to deceive Adam and Eve through tempting them to disobey God was his way of salvaging what little spiritual power he had left, in order to seek vengeance against the God who had created him and banished him for his corruption. And so, the saga continues. However, we already know what happens in the end. Lucifer, now known as Satan, and all those who followed him, will ultimately be defeated and sentenced to eternal punishment and damnation.
So, for us, we must understand that the fight against the enemy is a fixed fight. We have already won, for the battle is not ours, it’s the Lord’s. Our God has, is, and will forever be, victorious!
Names of the Devil Throughout the Bible

I want to conclude this chapter by giving you a list of the names of the enemy, as they appear in the Scriptures. In a Hebraic and biblical perspective names are very important.
Names denote the character and destiny of the named. In the listing below you will see that the various names of Satan that are used are a description of his nature, character, and being.
1. Lucifer (Isaiah 14:12)
2. Satan (Zechariah 3:1; Revelation 12:9)
3. Tempter (Matthew 4:3; 1 Thessalonians 3:5)
4. Enemy (Matthew 13:39)
5. Devil (Luke 4:2, 13; Revelation 12:9)
6. Beelzebub (Luke 11:15)
7. Ruler of demons (Luke 11:15)
8. Liar (John 8:44)
9. Thief (John 10:10)
10. The prince of this world (John 12:31)
11. The evil one (John 17:15; 1 John 5:18)
12. The god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4)
13. Belial (2 Corinthians 6:15)
14. Prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2)
15. The spirit that now works in the sons of disobedience (Ephesians 2:2)
16. Adversary (1 Peter 5:8)
17. Abaddon (Revelation 9:11)
18. Apollyon (Revelation 9:11)
19. Angel of the Bottomless Pit (Revelation 9:11)
20. Dragon (Revelation 12:7)
21. The serpent of old (Revelation 12:9)
22. Accuser (Revelation 12:10)

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About the Author:



Jermaine Gadson is the Senior Pastor of Faith Ministries, Inc., a non-traditional church located in Birmingham, AL. Prior to starting Faith Ministries, he served as an associate minister, youth minister, and pastor for local churches and ministries in the greater Birmingham area. While, growing up in the Baptist church, he gave his life to Christ at an early age, and is a third generation minister of the Gospel.

He holds a B.A. in Religion with a Concentration in Congregational Studies and a Minor in Classics from Samford University, and a Master of Divinity from Beeson Divinity School of Samford University. He is currently a Doctor of Ministry student at Beeson Divinity School.

Gadson enjoys reading, writing, sports, outdoors, movies, and spending time with his family. He is happily married to his wife Kristy and they have one beautiful daughter, Khloe.

Visit Pastor Gadson online at www.JermaineGadson.com.

Connect and Socialize!



Mailbox Monday - May 19

Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. It now has a permanent home at the Mailbox Monday blog.

Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles, and humongous wish lists.

My post is going up in the afternoon. Does that tell you what kind of week it is? We spent yesterday with family in Marlboro, so I'm a bit behind today. But we had a lovely day, so that's all that matters.

Other things on tap this week: the Lil' Diva's rehearsals for Peter Pan Jr, the Lil' Princess starts physical therapy for a repetitive motion injury to her ankle, and I'm whittling down the brokerage firms I potentially want to work for soon. I'm also putting together the following virtual book tours. Let me know if you see anything interesting:

Tactics, Trends, and Traits of the Enemy by Jermaine Gadson. Click here for more info.
The Stolen Herd by K. Madill (YA fantasy). Click here for more info.
Rebuilding Civilization on the Bible BOOK BLITZ with Dr. Jay Grimstead. Click here.
When Shmack Happens: The Making of a Spiritual Champion by Amber Neben. Amber is a decorated international road cyclist. Click here.

Now, onto my new books. I had one of those weeks where I simply couldn't pass up free Kindle books despite telling myself that I simply shouldn't buy anymore.


Things are going great for Lexy Baker. She's finally opened her dream bakery, gotten rid of her cheating boyfriend and settled into her grandmothers house with her perky dog Sprinkles at her side.

But her blissful life doesn't last long. When her ex boyfriend is found poisoned with cupcakes from her bakery, Lexy finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation headed up by her hunky neighbor detective Jack Perillo.

With the help of a gang of iPad toting, would-be detective grandmothers, Lexy decides to take it upon herself to find the real murderer in order to clear her name and get her bakery back in business.

As things heat up on the murder trail, in the kitchen and between Lexy and the hunky detective, it's a race against time to put the real murderer behind bars and get back to baking.

Will Lexy get her man? (Still free right now.)



Avery Lane is driven to discover the fate of the 117 missing colonists of Roanoke. When she encounters a mysterious group called the Descendants, who are determined to keep the colony’s secret hidden, Avery must choose between her obsession for the past and her own survival. Will solving this mystery cost her everything? Is there more to this secret than what is buried at Roanoke? Haunted by visions of the past, she must find answers before the Descendants stop her and forever banish the truth. (Currently $4.99)



NEW ENGLAND WITCH CHRONICLES is the first book in the four-book bestselling young adult series. The Salem Witch Trials of 1692 were an embarrassing stain on America’s revered past. Innocent people were persecuted at the hands of a few overzealous Puritans, but what if real witches existed during those colonial hunts? What if there are witches in present day New England? That’s what Alexandria Ramsey’s crazy grandmother believes. Grandma Claudia claims Alex descends from a long line of New England witches.

Modern day witches in Hazel Cove, Massachusetts? Unlikely, but strange things are occurring in the weeks preceding Alex’s seventeenth birthday. Alex is haunted by bizarre recurring nightmares of a man chasing her through the Hazel Cove Cemetery. On a few occasions, when her emotions have spiraled out of control, inanimate objects have shattered around her. But that’s just a coincidence, right? Alex isn’t so sure, especially after a local girl, who supposedly dabbled in witchcraft, was killed in the nearby forest.

Alex knows something strange is happening. With the arrival of a new boy in town, James Van Curen, who is causing problems between Alex and her best friend, Peter, Alex feels like her entire world is on the verge of chaos. Could Alex really be a witch? Is it possible Hazel Cove will become a battleground for modern-day witches and witch hunters? (Still free right now.)


This last one I requested for review from the author for his virtual book tour.


Read me...Read me...Read me and be hypnotized by me. Let your intellectual nipple be open and free so I may tickle it. You may ask yourself in reading this, “Where exactly is my intellectual nipple?” Then you may say to yourself, “Well, if I don’t know where my intellectual nipple is then I guess I’m not very intellectual,” and you would be right, you aren’t. But the intellectual nipple is quite elusive and ironic, and it is just that last thought that may help you to discover your intellectual nipple. Cary Smith will take you on a ride down his life and mind (and it won’t be as creepy as it sounds). Along the way you may giggle, you may hate, you may love, and most likely in the amount of time it will take you to read this book, you will fart...this book does not consider itself prestigious or boring enough to deny that fact. Cary Smith will guide you along the way to possibly having your intellectual nipple tickled. Brad Cruise will uninvitingly add stuff to the text and make corrections as a special guest corrector. And most importantly, your intellectual nipple will be tickled, maybe? And according to Brad Cruise, the key to finding out where your intellectual nipple is is to realize that Cary Smith is poop and a writer not worthy of the very worthy literary world which sometimes makes people very sleepy. Once you have this realization your intellectual nipple will bask in tickling pleasure. (That is, if you consider tickling to be pleasurable, because many people don’t, and, in fact, many find it torturous.) Just a warning from this summary: if you do find out where your intellectual nipple is (as everyone’s intellectual nipple is not in the same place), it is recommended that you not tickle it too much unless you’ve had a few cocktails. If you just read this summary and said, “What in the hell?” then you are on your way to a discovery of the elusive intellectual nipple. This summary has exhausted itself and is tired of saying, “The elusive intellectual nipple.” Please enjoy The Book, hate it very, very much, or go somewhere in the middle with your opinion of it.

What was in your mailbox?